The 10 Best Science Images, Videos, And Visualizations From The 2015 Vizzies

Information has never looked so beautiful

Elizabeth Marchiondo was really excited when a colleague brought this dead chameleon to her lab. [Read more] Elizabeth Marchiondo and Andrew Gillis

The best visualizations communicate complex subjects with evocative images, enlightening illustrations, and engrossing interactive media–all things we value tremendously at Popular Science. So we’re especially pleased to partner with the National Science Foundation to award the Vizzies. The international competition, which the agency has led for more than a decade, recognizes the finest illustrations, photographs, videos, graphics, and apps, whether produced by academic researchers, artists, or hobbyists.

How We Chose The Winners

During two rounds of judging, science and visualization experts at the National Science Foundation and Popular Science winnowed 303 entries to 50 finalists, 10 in each category. To arrive at the Experts’ Choice, a panel of final-round judges rated the visualizations on their artistic merit and communication excellence. Readers voted online for the People’s Choice. Each of the winners was vetted for accuracy by independent experts.

The Final-Round Judges

David Bolinsky, medical animator and co-founder of e.mersion studios

Bennett Foddy, professor of game design at New York University’s Game Center

Soraya Gage, general manager of NBC Learn, an NBC News division

Lena Groeger, science journalist and news apps developer at ProPublica

Robert Kosara, research scientist at Tableau Software

Marcia Rudy, special exhibitions and programs at the New York Hall of Science

Rita Teutonico, executive associate director of the School of Environment, Arts, and Society at Florida International University

Jan Willem Tulp, head of the data visualization studio TULP Interactive

The Winners




Posters & Graphics

  • Expert’s Choice: Hippocampal Neurons, by Robert E. Clark

  • People’s Choice: From Icefield To Ocean, by Kristin Timm, Shad O’Neel, Allison Bidlack, and Eran Hood

Games & Apps

  • Expert’s Choice: Glassbrain, by Adam Gazzaley, Roger Anguera-​Singla, Rajat Jain, Tim Mullen, Christian Kothe, John Fesenko, Oleg Konings, Matt Omernick, and David Ziegler

  • People’s Choice: NASA Visualization Explorer, by Goddard Space Flight Center’s NASA Viz Group; Helen-Nicole Kostis, project manager

—Additional reporting by Alexandra Ossola, Neel V. Patel, and Katie Peek

This article was originally published in the March 2015 issue of Popular Science, under the title “The 2015 Vizzies.”

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